Tuesday, February 17, 2015

July 28, 2014

What a week!

On Monday we we met up with a family from my very first area and spent some time with them, which I absolutely loved! They took us to a place called Jefferson Barack's, which is a huge military cemetery near St. Louis with thousands and thousands of graves lined up so perfectly. It was really neat. There were also a whole bunch of deer there that would come right up to your car and you can feed them. So I fed deer. That was pretty cool.
On Tuesday we went to the Cardinals baseball game vs the Tampa Bay Rays. The Cards played terribly, losing 7-2 or something like that, but it was still a really fun time. There were so many missionaries there and it was so great to see them! There were also a whole lot of people from my first area in St Louis there, most of which I haven't seen in almost a year, so it was absolutely wonderful to see so many people I had grown to love all in one place again. It was a great night indeed.
The next day we set up an appointment with a semi-less-active for later that evening. We went over there at 5:00, chatted for a while, then he took us out to eat with his grandson, Matt, who he had just taken under his wing. We ate at the best Mexican restaurant I've been to on my mission yet! Then we went back to their house to have a spiritual thought. Well, we were not expecting Matt to be there; apparently he had been "hoboing" for the past couple of months because he couldn't stand his real home any longer of something, but this week he made contact with his grandpa here in Waterloo and they were able to resolve the conflict that existed there before and now there is an abiding love for each other that is just really neat to see. But back to where we came in, we sat down in their living room and began teaching the message of the restoration to Matt. The spirit was so strong. Tears filled Matt's eyes as we explained Joseph Smith's first vision. His grandpa bore testimony of the things we had said and we asked Matt if he would be baptized by someone holding the authority of Christ, and straightway he said "yes".
It was literally the perfect, ideal lesson. Lessons like these are the things you will never forget as a missionary. Matt is now preparing for baptism on the 23rd of August. The Lords hand has been so evident through all of this. This is exactly was Matt needed right now, exactly what his grandpa needed, exactly what the branch needs, exactly what Elder Johnson needed to experience... All around, this is exactly what needed to happen. Matt came to church yesterday and loved it. We are meeting with him again tonight.
On Thursday we got up early to meet with our new investigator, Pat at 7:30am because with his weird schedule and our busy day that was the only time we could arrange a meeting. Pat invited a few other friends to join us. We were meeting at their friend's house, Ben, who is the member that invited Pat to meet with us in the first place. At 7:30am two of those friends showed up and we shared the message of the restoration with them. They both have zero religious background (very rare around here) but were very interested and eager to find out for themselves if what we taught them is true. Pat didn't show up until an hour later, but we couldn't talk to him because we had to get going to make it to a zone conference in O'fallon. But we set up a time to meet with him again, which is this Thursday. The other two friends, Eli and Brian, are planning on attending that as well as 6+ more friends that Ben and Pat both invited. It is going to be awesome!!
The members here are really starting to take the work seriously and it is so awesome to be a part of it.
Another youth in our branch, Casey, has been inviting his friend Ketrick to activities each week. Casey's family even brought Ketrick to Nauvoo to see the pageant there. According to Casey, Ketrick felt the spirit so strongly when they spoke of Joseph Smith that it brought him to tears. Casey later gave him a Book of Mormon. By the time Ketrick had finished the first chapter he knew it was true and he called Casey to tell him he wanted to be baptized.
We are so blessed to be a part of the most marvelous work that there is! I know this work really is marvelous. I had this feeling, and I just knew great things were in store for us here. The Lord has truly been preparing this area and those He has prepared are popping up like daisies. I LOVE IT!!
I know this is God's work. I know God loves and is aware of each of His children. We are precious to Him.
I love each and every one of you. I hope you have an amazing week!

-Elder Aaron Curtis

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